The team, while healing up at STV’s offices, sells all the varied data they’ve accumulated from the ECSE, as well as some stuff they’ve compiled from the larger Boston area over their stay. They sell Smedley deets on ECSE facility defense and layout, Erika Knowles gets Null Sect info (and an offer to smuggle her out which she accepts, returning the team a bit to her good graces), Prot0 also arranges to meet a Nexus courier in DeeCee in 2 weeks to pass along the info as well (as it wouldn’t be safe online), Jackpoint and Nexus TM’s and hackers pony up to buy the foundation creation/100 data and keep it out of corp hands (for now), they sell Mayor Meghan the MCT torture and experiments info for her to use as a bargaining chip, they pass along the result of the MCT torture to Nexus with the understanding that noone should profit off of that, but that if the info is erased someone will likely do it again, EVO gets the p-soft training CFD “cure” data, SK gets the Project Abyss and PAX info (and quickly Thor strikes an AZT black lab on the 128 corridor), and the team decides to hold onto their info about Lilith for now while they do more digging. Prot0 puts out some tentative feelers on that.
For all of this, they each take home over half a mil and leave a sizable chunk in their team fund and drone repair/replacement fund. They stock up on gear, ammo, etc, and both Kinnie and Jonny fake their own deaths, with a lot more people noticing Jonny doing so (tributes begin pouring in, though the corps consider it another terrorist down). STV gets them all a few new ID’s (plenty of opportunity in Boston), and they don’t tell many people where they’re going. They arrange to smuggle all their forbidden/restricted and obvious gear in a shipping container via the Yakuza to the massive Potomac Yards facility in DC, which is Yakuza controlled. They also pack Liam’s motorcycle and Erika Knowles in there, and arrange to bring Lys with them on the flight out. They introduce Genowefa Gale to Mama, Gale handles the surprise well and begins negotiating to represent the interests of Mama’s Boys during reconstruction, as well as linking up STV’s basement levels to the Catacombs.
With all that business attended to, they finish healing up, put on their “civilian” clothes/armor, and catch a corp chopper out of the QZ from the STV office. They transfer to a regional commuter jet at a merc airfield, and find a bunch of off-duty mercs, engineers, political aides etc aboard for the short hop to DC. They land at Baltimore-Washington Int’l (the least secure airport given KE/Ares making steps towards relocating to Atlanta and in a contract squabble with the Feds), and spend the better part of a day rejoicing in their return to civilization- they get sloppy drunk at the airport bar, spend way too much money on steaks, peruse some cheesy Boston mourning merch, and do a little local research. Kinnie finds out that his husband did make it out, but after 2 years of waiting for any word has moved on, and is now with another Boston survivor he met in a grief group. Kinnie decides this is for the best, as he’s not sure what he’s become or if he would want his husband to see/know him as he is now.
They eventually rally to take the train into town and get into their STV safehouse and pick up their STV van. Aylin gets her first exposure to sunlight since becoming infected and it is awful. They’re glad to have a UV protected full body suit but it still hurts and feels like heavy pressure bearing down on her. They get in to the safehouse and crash. The next day, OE and Guy make runs out to the port to get their gear back to the safehouse, while Kinnie guards the safehouse and gear once delivered. It takes 3 trips but goes smoothly, with OE covering for Guy’s social ineptitude- they’re really not in Boston anymore, noone knows Guy! The rest of the team goes to the meet, Aylin and Prot0 makes minor fools of themselves over a coffee machine but Jonny uses this as a feature- his team is so good at their specialties that they don’t need to all be good at the social side.
They get the rundown: some kind of explosion or other major event occurred 2 days ago at Ford’s Theater, and STV wants details. The team starts digging and finds out that the Theater has been under construction for a long time, seemingly as a front for some sort of odd magic or cult, that it came under attack from some milspec forces wearing Ares Bug Stomper armor, that the FedPol investigation into what happened appears to have stopped almost before it started, that FedPol is still guarding the site, that a massive mana void surrounds it (as if a tunnel in the astral had collapsed), that someone cut local camera feeds before the attack, that a vanm dumpster, 2 suits of armor (+ maybe occupants), and various weapons were burned with thermite out back, that over a dozen people died inside, and that their looks to have been a gate or portal of some kind in the basement, based on the hermetic/Masonic symbols that remain after whatever was detonated here went off. They also detect that a delivery drone flew through the no camera zone during the attack, and decide to track it down. And they notice they are being watched- Madeline Schmidt warned there would be other interested parties…
They send a drone recording of an unidentifiable odor to STV to run through their data vault, and get a report back that it is a compound found most often on the metaplane of ID- so that’s likely where they portal lead. Schmidt tells them to keep digging. They track down the drone courier, and Prot0 geeks out over his custom tech. They end up social manipulating him for the data, convincing him it’s too dangerous for him to even watch, let alone keep, and that they will try to warn others off him. Outside, OE sees that there is now another group following them; as opposed to the first pair who were decked out in camo cloaks, these 2 seem like ratty street teens, but have a slightly skittering astral vibe. Analyzing the drone data they see 2 figures in Bug Stompers leave the theater, one kills the other, and burns the body as well as his own gear in the van and dumpster. The drone gets bad image of him in the bright flare of light- muscled male ork. It also spots a Ford Americar parked nearby and gets the plate.
Prot0 hacks some traffic cams nearby to get into a license registry and finds the name and a photo of the car’s owner- a muscled ork with a military haircut. Time to track him down!